Setback for Modi; Guj HC upholds Lokayukta appointment
In a setback to the Narendra Modi government, the Gujarat High Court Wednesday upheld the appointment of R.A. Mehta as the Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal.
A two-judge bench had last October delivered a split verdict on the government's plea questioning Mehta's appointment.
While Justice Akil Kureshi upheld the appointment of Mehta, Justice Sonia Gokani disagreed. The case went to a third judge, Justice V.N. Sahay, who completed the hearing Dec 29, 2011 and announced the verdict Wednesday.
"There was a difference of opinion in the two-judge bench and today the verdict of the third judge came and he said he agrees with the view of Justice Kureshi," petitioner Anand Yagnik said.
The state government had questioned Mehta's appointment on the ground that the governor did not consult it on the matter.
Mehta was appointed Lokayukta Aug 26, 2011. For seven years prior to that, the state did not have an ombudsman.